05 February 2015

Citybus Shows Its Colours

Red Flash Gets Greener

Buses on one of Plymouth’s busiest routes will be fitted with new technology designed to reduce pollution, thanks to a grant from the Department for Transport (DfT). Plymouth City Council has been awarded almost £485,000 from the Clean Vehicle Technology Fund, which helps local authorities upgrade vehicles, reduce emissions and improve air quality. The funding will be used to install ‘gyrodrive flywheel’ equipment on 16 RedFlash vehicles on the cross-city service 21/21A, run by Plymouth Citybus.
The flywheel gets electrically charged when the vehicle brakes and stores energy which the bus uses when it pulls away. The stored electricity can also be used to power heating and lighting on board. This means greater fuel efficiency and fewer nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions – which is good news for air quality, especially on roads like Exeter Street and Royal Parade, where a significant proportion of vehicle emissions come from buses. Exeter Street is on one of the key routes in and out of the city and Royal Parade is the main bus interchange. The service 21/21A runs with high frequency along both roads, which is why it has been selected for the upgrade. The £484,921 from the DfT will pay for 14 buses to be modified and Citybus is providing match funding for the additional two vehicles. Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “This is a practical measure that will help us reduce pollution and improve air quality along two of the city’s busiest bus routes and lower the risk of associated health problems. We hope it will also encourage operators to equip more vehicles with this sort of technology in the future.”
Richard Stevens, Managing Director Plymouth Citybus, said: “Citybus is delighted to partner the City Council on this exciting initiative. I am confident that once fitted there will be real benefits in terms of improved efficiency, reduced consumption and reduced emissions – a real win-win for residents, passengers and other road users.”
The flywheel equipment is expected to be in use on the buses by January 2016.
Plymouth City Council: Cleaner, greener technology for Plymouth buses
Go Ahead Group have been fans of this system for some time now:
GKNGKN plc and The Go-Ahead Group have agreed a deal that will help reduce emissions in cities with the supply of electric flywheel systems to 500 buses over the next two years. The innovative GKN system is based on Formula One race technology developed in the UK. It will help increase the efficiency of every bus to which it is fitted by using less fuel and therefore reducing carbon emissions. This same technology helped Audi’s R18 e-tron win at Le Mans last month.
Go-Ahead has placed an order for GKN Hybrid Power to supply 500 of its Gyrodrive systems to the transport operator. The Gyrodrive system uses a high speed flywheel made of carbon fibre to store the energy generated by a bus as it slows down to stop. It then uses the stored energy to power an electric motor which helps accelerate the bus back up to speed, generating fuel savings of more than 20% at a significantly lower cost than battery hybrid alternatives. The agreement covers the supply of the complete Gyrodrive system, including the innovative GKN Hybrid Power flywheel as well as GKN’s advanced EVO electric motor, a GKN designed and manufactured gearbox, and installation. The system is designed to last for the life of the bus eliminating the need for any battery changes. Following successful trials on buses in London, Go-Ahead intends to utilise the technology in cities it serves across the UK, initially in London and Oxford.
Philip Swash, CEO GKN Land Systems, said: ‘This is an important milestone for GKN Hybrid Power. We’ve worked in close partnership with Go-Ahead throughout the development of this innovative technology and it’s very exciting to move into the production phase. The fact that we are using the same groundbreaking technology that helped Audi win at Le Mans for the past three years to improve fuel efficiency in the public transport sector also shows what great innovation there is in the UK’s engineering sector.’ CEO of Go-Ahead, David Brown, added: ’Our collaboration with GKN has been a most constructive one. We have a strong record in continually reducing our carbon emissions and flywheel technology will help us make buses an even more environmentally responsible choice and encourage more people to travel by public transport. The flywheel technology helps us to reduce our fuel consumption and C02 emissions so improving air quality for all those living, working and visiting the city.’ GKN Hybrid Power is based in Oxfordshire, with final assembly taking place in a new facility at GKN’s site in Telford. The Gyrodrive technology is being further developed for other mass transit markets including trams, construction and agricultural equipment. Earlier this year GKN announced the acquisition of Williams Hybrid Power from Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited to form GKN Hybrid Power, which is focused on delivering complete hybrid solutions across multiple vehicle, power and industrial markets.
GKN Group: GKN and The Go-Ahead Group using F1 technology to improve fuel efficiency of London buses

Green Go Gone Red

Thanks to Mike Hudson for the photo – Former Western Greyhound now Plymouth Citybus Optare Solo 208 is the first to go red with the large Go Cornwall Bus fleet name which looks really big on this small bus!

Orange goes Red?

A new service has just been registered by Plymouth Citybus on VOSA:
  • Registration Accepted
  • Starting Point: Plymouth, Milehouse Bus Depot
  • Finish Point: Langage, Ashleigh Way
  • Via: St Budeaux, Crownhill
  • Service Number: 22
  • Service Type: Normal Stopping
  • Effective Date: 01-APR-2015
  • Other Details: Daily except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.
It looks very much like a replacement for Target Travel’s 53 service which is believed to be stopping in April. More details when they are released!

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  1. That picture is mine not david jory's!
    I got out of my car to take it! please re credit it.

    1. Sorry Mike - was given wrong info! - All changed now. Cheers

  2. That repainted bus looks smart enough but I really don't see the point of having a separate fleetname on the standard red livery. A separate fleetname on, say, a green version of the livery, yes, but this is really something and nothing. May as well just put the Citybus name on everything.

    What name or logo is on the tickets issued on the Liskeard services?

    1. go cornwall. we didnt want green as it seemed to be synomonous with unreliability. fresh start and all that. people catch the red buses along wolseley road corridor but if a green bus comes they stand back! seen it with my own eyes!

    2. Well Mike, if that's the case does that mean there is unlikely to be a Green Flash in the future!

    3. well there is rumours of the 50/43 being made into a GreenFlash bus

    4. I believe it's going to.be rebranded as a yellowflash

  3. bus 29 has broken down today in estover. she did not sound very good at all. i tooks some photos of her being repaired at the bus stop.

  4. I think that Citybus should have put the buses with Citybus logos because it makes it easier to inter-change buses such as a Enviro could be used on the 576 and a small Solo could be used on something with less passengers such as 14 or the 33.

  5. Hopefully while they're fitting these they'll fix the heaters!!!!! Unbelievable for the age of the vehicles that half. of there heaters have broke!!

    1. it is unbelievable but stagecoach enviros exactly the same with interior heating.

  6. 207 now in red with 206 the next one out of the paint shop.

  7. 206 is out on the road, was on the 25 with a paper sign in the window! Anyone know what's next?

    1. Michael Hudson/ Tom Michaels PCB Dest Blinds Team25 February 2015 at 21:18

      206 had a paper number as it hasnt got the plymouth network on the blinds. we have only just received all the software for them today. once tom has done all the designing for the blinds, i will be programming the buses. hopefully nxt week.

    2. why would it be used on normal services? it says go cornwall on the side

    3. i might be going to milehouse next week and if i come when your there can i take some photos of the screen being changed?


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